For anyone who has experienced sleep issues, catching elusive Z’s is a hot topic. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now considers sleep loss a public health epidemic.
With more people moving away from pharmaceuticals and leaning into homeopathic remedies, CBD has become an increasingly popular choice for those experiencing difficulty falling asleep. Here’s why CBD is the sleep remedy du jour—and why it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
With all of the emphasis on sleep, it’s a wonder people can even get a few hours of shut-eye. The world is busier than ever, and much of the reason people are losing sleep comes down to packed schedules and obligations.
There’s also strong evidence that blue light—the type of wavelengths emitted from your favorite electronics—can have adverse effects on circadian rhythms. Humans spend more time on phones and computers now than in the past, which helps to explain the increase in widespread sleep issues.
A lack of sleep can manifest in physical ways—weight gain, loss of the skin’s elasticity—as well as numerous non-physical ways—depression, mood swings, decreased performance at work, and more.
There are, of course, many prescription sleep aids that are widely available, but pills can have adverse side effects. Even recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been taking a closer look at the warnings attached to popular sleep pharmaceuticals because of an uptick in dangerous sleepwalking and activities like driving while asleep.
So, where can someone turn when traditional avenues to solve sleep deprivation fail?
CBD is known to help the body achieve a more relaxed state without adverse side effects, which may appeal to people who are trying to steer clear of pills.
Additionally, CBD has been shown to ease mild to moderate anxiety by inhibiting feelings of fear and lowering distress signals. It can also assist in keeping stress at bay—and both stress and anxiety are common causes that inhibit regular sleep patterns.
Unlike a stronger prescription, CBD won’t “knock you out,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. CBD is akin to a non-drowsy sleep aid that may help you drift off to sleep without experiencing a medication hangover the next day.
Prior to going to sleep, the most effective ways to take CBD are either by using a vaporizer or taking a tincture sublingually (under the tongue). These methods allow CBD to enter the bloodstream more quickly than via capsules or other edible forms.
CBD can be a great addition to any sleep routine under the supervision of a medical professional, providing peace of mind that helps you ease into your slumber.
Science covering the intersection of CBD and sleep is still developing, so there’s no definitive answer to whether or not CBD can solve common sleeping problems. But based on preliminary cannabidiol and sleep studies, as well as adjacent studies peering into how CBD reacts with the body’s receptors, research points to a positive correlation.
A study affiliated with the University of Colorado looked at cannabidiol’s effects on both sleep and anxiety, and found links despite a small sample size. The study used a low concentration of CBD—between 25 and 125mg per dose—and found that over a short-term period, 79.2% of participants experienced decreased anxiety, and 66.7% had improved sleep quality.
Low concentration of CBD (25-125mg) had improved sleep quality for 67% of participants
Another study examined the habits of people who were already using cannabis to help them sleep, and found that different doses and ratios of CBD to THC were preferred for different sleep issues. Those who experienced nightmares reported using products containing greater amounts of THC, while subjects experiencing with insomnia and trouble falling asleep preferred a higher concentration of CBD.
One team of researchers from Canada’s McMaster University surveyed leading studies to determine trends in the relation between cannabinoid use and sleep. This critical review found that there is significant evidence demonstrating positive outcomes. However, many of the studies to date are focused on other health issues where sleep is a secondary focus. The researchers posited questions that future studies may address in order to fill in the gaps where correlations have yet to be determined.
Researchers hold a hopeful outlook for forthcoming data linking CBD and sleep. The foundational research is promising, and strong personal accounts attesting to the benefits give scientists cause to explore the functions of CBD further.
When it comes to choosing a product to help you sleep, CBD oil tinctures are one of the best options since their effects can be felt more quickly than edible forms and are longer lasting than vaporizers.